Cloud computing refers to computing services
based on the Internet “cloud” of connectivity nodes.
The user of cloud computing services has
access to applications and data without knowing where or on what kind of
systems they are located.
Cloud services take advantage of the high
availability of the Internet connections, which makes possible to retrieve data
from anywhere, on user demand.
of using cloud computing services are:
- easier synchronization of user data between
multiple devices (PCs, notebooks, smartphones, tablets)
- availability of user data even after
damage/stealing of the device
- higher computing power without investing in
a more powerful device
There are also disadvantages, like:
- the necessity of a fast and stable Internet
- security constraints, which add complexity
to user experience (multiple levels of authentication), yet the cloud is
vulnerable to hacker attacks
- legal limitations related to moving user
data across different countries /provider networks (for example, in Europe,
where governments are highly concerned about security issues)
The cloud service models offered by providers
are tipically the following:
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
offer computer machines and other resources. They typically bill IaaS services
on a utility computing basis, that is, cost will reflect the amount of
resources allocated and consumed.
most important providers are Amazon CloudFormation (and underlying services
such as Amazon EC2), Rackspace Cloud, Terremark and Google Compute Engine.
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
deliver a computing platform including basic software (operating system,
database, web server and other resources).
most important providers are Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, Cloud Foundry, Heroku,
Force.com, EngineYard, Mendix, Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure and
- Software as a service (SaaS)
install and operate application software in the cloud and cloud users access
the software from cloud clients.
pricing model for SaaS applications is typically a monthly or yearly flat fee
most important providers are Google Apps, innkeypos, Quickbooks Online,
Limelight Video Platform, Salesforce.com and Microsoft Office 365.
The deployment models offered by provider are:
- Community cloud: shares infrastructure
between several organizations from a specific community with common concerns.
- Public cloud: a service provider makes
resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public
over the Internet. Public cloud services may be free or offered on a
- Private cloud: its infrastructure is
operated solely for a single organization.
- Hybrid (between public and private).
The most important cloud deployments are the
public and the private.
Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Facebook social network,
Flickr photo sharing are all public cloud computing services.
A company using public cloud computing can
spend 30%-40% less then acquiring its own resources.
The market size is expected to grow 40% per
year until 2015.
A study with a participation of almost 4.000
PC users from 9 European countries, including Romania, revealed that Romania
and Greece encounter the highest utilization rate of cloud computing services
(39%), above the European average and close to the global average of 33%.
The main behaviour that pushes the popularity
of cloud computing in Romania and in other growing markets is said to be the
high interest in new technologies, especially in personal usage and
Among the big companies, 55% use cloud
services. This is the conclusion of the “Cloud Adoption 2012″ study,
requested by the CIO Council of Consult Blue company.